How to create the Best Wedding Day Timeline

It’s understandable that so many couples feel stressed about organising their Wedding day. There are so many things to consider and this can easily become overwhelming. A great way to manage this anxiety is to come up with a solid timeline for your Wedding day.

Creating a timeline can be such a lifesaver for everyone involved in your Wedding day. That includes all your vendors. Let’s think of them as your team! If your team knows what to expect for your Wedding day and what time things are likely to happen, it is less likely that things will go wrong.

It’s always a great idea to leave a bit of extra time for each part of the day. This way you can feel at ease and nothing will feel rushed during your Wedding day. After all you’ve put in this much effort, you deserve to enjoy your day and soak in every moment.

Planning your Wedding Day Timeline

Just like with anything in life, the more planning you do towards something, the smoother it runs. Below I have listed an example of the items you can include in your timeline:

  • Bride & Bridal party – Hair and Make up
  • Groom’s Preparation Photos
  • Bridal Preparation Photos
  • Guests & Groom’s Party Arrive at Ceremony
  • Bride & Bridal party arrive at Ceremony
  • Ceremony (Time to get married YAY!)
  • Group photo & family photos after the Ceremony
  • Bridal party & groomsmen photos
  • Couples Portraits
  • Reception – Guests seated
  • Bride & Groom Grand Entrance
  • Cutting of the cake
  • Bride & Grooms First Dance
  • Sunset Couples Portraits
  • Speeches
  • Father & daughter dance
  • Meals & drinks
  • Dancing and party
  • Bride & Groom exiting – End of the night

It’s important to remember that your Wedding day will be unique and slightly different to any other Wedding you’ve been to. Whilst most couples Wedding day will include all the items from the above list, the order in which events happen are not set in stone. When planning your timeline, it is important to stay true to how you would like to run your Wedding day.

When creating the timeline it is also important to break down the finer details. Considerations to the following are imperative to your Wedding Day not only for the purpose of photography but also for the scheduling of your day.

Scheduling Bride & Groom Preparations

It is important to coordinate the preparations of the bridal party and the groom’s party so that your photographer can capture both. It is always great to ask the hair and make-up artists how much time is needed for their services. This will allow you to have a plan for the “getting ready photos” & will ensure you arrive to the ceremony on time.

For the bride, if you have a larger bridal party it’s always advisable to consider having more than 1 hairdresser and make-up artist so as to ensure a more efficient process. I suggest having the groom’s party preparations photographed first. This allows the bridal party to have their hair and make-up completed as close as possible to the ceremony time.

Extra tips: Get someone from your bridal party to create an awesome playlist of songs for your preparations. This is also a great idea for the groom’s party too!

Have plenty of snacks and water! There’s nothing worse than feeling hangry or dehydrated on your Wedding day. You want to feel fresh and ready to go.

This one is more for the girls. It’s great to have an emergency kit. This could include stain remover, hair spray, fashion tape, safety pins and more.

The Ceremony Schedule

The best timing for your ceremony really depends on what time of the year you are getting married. It is always best to have your ceremony later in the afternoon during Summer. This will result in better lighting for your photos, feeling less sweaty (that afternoon Australian sun can get super-hot) and your guests will be less uncomfortable in the sun (if you’re having an outdoor Wedding!).

During the winter months, it’s best to have your ceremony earlier in the afternoon. It generally gets darker a lot earlier so this will allow for nice lighting in the afternoon and also the opportunity to have your couple’s portraits without the worry of the sun setting too soon.

Once the ceremony concludes it will be time for a lot of photos. Including a group photo, family photos, bridal party portraits and your couple’s portraits.

Portraits after the Ceremony

It is important to be mindful of the different types of portraits that you would like to take place after the ceremony into your timeline.

You can use the following time-frames as a general guide for the portraits:

  • 10 minutes for the Group Photo
  • 15 – 20 Minutes for Family Photos
  • 10 – 15 minutes for Bridal Party & Groom’s Party Photos
  • 45 minutes – 1.5 hours for Couple’s Portraits

Here are some other factors to consider when including portraits into your timeline:

  • Make sure to include travel time if you are taking any photos off-site, time it will take to park, any walking time to & from locations. As a rule of thumb if you’re taking photos in Melbourne’s CBD add 15 minutes as a contingency for traffic.
  • Work together with your photographer to pre-plan the locations before the Wedding day
  • Checking on Google whether there are any special events happening on the same route as your portrait photos location. This can help eliminate any unexpected traffic hold ups.

The Wedding Reception Timeline

It’s time for the reception. There are quite a few things that happen at your reception and it is a good idea to have a timeline set out for the night ahead. Some of important events to consider include: cutting of the cake, first dance, speeches, father and daughter dance, sunset portraits, meals and of course the dance floor party.

The main thing from the list above to consider with your photographer is the sunset portraits. It’s great to schedule in 15-20 minutes for some gorgeous golden hour portraits with your partner, it’s something that none of my couples regret.

It’s also important to consider having all the formalities done at the start of the night. This is especially important if you aren’t sure when the party will end and you aren’t wanting your photographer to stay all night to capture your exit. Having this planned ahead of time allows your photographer to know when they can leave, without missing any of the important moments that you’d like to be captured.

It’s okay if things go off Schedule

Just remember it’s totally okay if things don’t go completely to plan. My advice would be to not freak out and just go with it! Things in life very rarely go 100% to plan. As humans we can try and plan for as many variables as possible and at the end of the day just enjoy and ride the wave ahead. It is inevitable that some things may run off schedule, but that’s just life. As hard as it is to not get caught up on the little things you’ll later thank yourself for just staying present and not letting it get to you. So sit back, enjoy every moment and live for all the amazing and important things about your Wedding day.

Get in Touch!

If you have any more questions, feel free to get in touch with me below!

You deserve the absolute best. That’s why I want to make sure I am the right choice for you.

I can’t wait to hear about everything that you have planned for your special day & any extra details you might have! I look forward to hearing from you & i’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Make sure to check your spam folder in case my email decides to take a detour!

Feel free to also contact me directly at contact@lamomentphotography.com